Today during Apple’s WWDC keynote, HomeKit briefly made an appearance during a portion that was focused on iOS privacy. For HomeKit, the company announced a new feature that will be built into the Home App, called “Secure Video” which incorporates recording and storage functions into the App. Secure Video in this case means that recordings captured by your HomeKit cameras are sent using end to end encryption to iCloud where only you and the people invited to your home can access them.
The biggest news of this announcement is that these recordings are of course stored in iCloud, which Apple states is completely free with an iCloud account, and it “does not count against your storage plan”. There is an asterisk next to this statement as there is a catch, as this does require a paid iCloud storage plan to be active, either at the 200gb ($2.99/mo) or 2tb ($9.99/mo) levels as well as having an actual HomeKit hub (AppleTV, HomePod, iPad). The new Secure Video function is being adopted by 3 HomeKit camera manufacturers, Logitech who has the Circle 2 already on the market, Netatmo with their Welcome and Presence Cameras, and finally, Eufy, which is new to the HomeKit realm. The addition of Eufy is notable as the company has lots of affordable smart devices including vacuums that support other platforms, and we hope that this means that they will be bringing their entire line to HomeKit soon.
Other notable additions include what looks to be some form of AI being added to the Home App for capturing motion events, as Apple’s explainer for the new features specifically mention “people, pets or cars” as being detected. For expanded privacy, Apple is also stating that controls for toggling streaming, recording and the overall power state of your cameras will also be in the Home App, which will be handy. Finally, the Home App looks to have a new UI for display motion based events, with the familiar device tiles added to camera notifications for toggling devices that are within the same “room” as the camera. Previously these devices were simple phrases such as “turn on lights”.
Overall, the HomeKit camera updates will be a great addition to the Home App and HomeKit in general, and we cannot wait to see it all in action. Stay tuned for more HomeKit news surrounding WWDC as we will be posting additional features throughout the day.
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